I never tire of the 2 minute DIY indie tune, and Hazel Dormouse are experts in the field. Give us quirk, give us fun, give us style, give us creativity, give us Hazel Dormouse.
Over the past 3 years or so, Manchester/Huddersfield based Hazel Dormouse evolved both through DIY punk roots, and a line up change. Originally Persian Rug Sale, the expanded and altered line up were reborn as Hazel Dormouse last July.
With debut single release Mrs Pigeon’s Kinks, Hazel Dormouse explore the love tryst between a lodger Mr Badger and a landlady Mrs Pigeon. I hope I’m not giving you a spoiler if I share that the story doesn’t end too happily when Mr Pigeon comes home early. It’s a re-imagining of a time old story that graces Greek Mythology, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Shakespeare. I’ll never glance at a pigeon with the same indifference again; who knows what goes on, on the lamp post and the chimney tops (although admittedly perhaps not with a badger).
Behind lead singer Jack’s DIY, punky vocals, the band give a really solid bluesy vibe; there’s shades of the likes of rootsy Dr Feelgood, or Jonathan Richman in there, and glorious keys right out of The Stranglers. There’s plenty of riffs and beats to keep it both interesting and polished. There’s a delicious hard crust of slightly scuzzy post punk.
Live Hazel Dormouse are a force to be reckoned with; you are guaranteed to leave the room both wondering what has happened and with a grin on your chops. When I caught the band recently, they opened with Mrs Pigeon’s Kinks. It’s quite the statement of intent.
I can totally recommend Hazel Dormouse live, and luckily for Huddersfield and Manchester there are a few gigs coming up for the band; 28 February at FUEL in Manchester, 4th March in Northern Quarter in Huddersfield and 11th March at the wonderful Castle in Manchester (supporting Mr Matthew Fisher). Hazel Dormouse are well worth hunting downto catch a real live run through of Pigeon.
* Images taken from the band’s social media (bar one of my own) of the band playing at Northern Quarter.